Chandrayaan 3 inches closer to moon: What is the role of Vikram lander, Pragyan rover?
Chandrayaan 3 is India's ambitious moon mission, launched from the Earth on July 14. It is expected to land on the moon on August 23.
Chandrayaan-3, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s high profile lunar mission completed its orbits around the Earth and moved closer to the Moon on Tuesday. The mission is aimed at achieving a soft landing on the Moon's surface, a follow up 2019 project Chandrayaan-2, which failed to achieve the desired soft landing.
The spacecraft consists of indigenous propulsion module, lander module, and a rover with an objective of “developing and demonstrating new technologies required for interplanetary missions,” the ISRO explained. The propulsion system’s objective is to carry the lander module from launch vehicle injection orbit to till the lander’s separation. ISRO described its mission as “Carrying Lander Module and Rover upto 100 km lunar orbit. Subsequently, operation of experimental payload for a period of 3 to 6 months.” The propulsion module will remain in the Moon’s orbit, acting as a communication point.
Role of Vikram Lander:
The lander and rover’s names have been taken from the last mission Chandrayaan-2. The lander is named after Dr Vikram A Sarabhai, the father of the Indian Space Programme. It is designed to function for one lunar day, which is 14 days on the Earth and comes with a number of sensors to ensure a safe touchdown. It weighs about 1,749 kg including the rover. It is built to have side-mounted solar panels, which can generate 738 W power and will be engaged in exploring the lunar south pole.
Also Read: Chandrayaan-3: Why did Chandrayaan-2 lander fail? Why is it so difficult to land on Moon?
As per the ISRO, the Vikram lander consists of three payloads for its objectives. RAMBHA-LP – which will measure the near surface plasma (ions and electrons) density and its changes with time; ChaSTE or ‘Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment’ – which will carry out the measurements of thermal properties of the lunar surface near the polar region; and ILSA or ‘Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity’ meant to measure seismicity around the landing site and delineating the structure of the lunar crust and mantle
Role of Pragyan Rover:
The robotic vehicle is named as ‘Pragyan’, which translates to 'wisdom' in Sanskrit. The six-wheeled vehicle has instruments configured with payloads to provide data related to the Moon's surface. It will gather data on the elemental composition of the atmosphere. It weighs 26 kgs and like the lander, has a mission life of one lunar day.
The two payloads on the rover are APXS or ‘Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer’, which is meant to derive the elemental composition of the lunar surface; and the LIBS or ‘Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscope’ will be carry out experiments to determine the elemental composition of chemicals elements such magnesium and aluminum, etc of lunar soil and rocks around the lunar landing site.
Chandrayaan-3 which launched from the Earth on July 14, is expected to land on the moon on August 23.